Roger James likens Silent Achiever’s condition to her build-up before last year’s third in the Gr. 1 Cox Plate as she prepares for a world-class assignment at Rosehill on Saturday.
Silent Achiever will step up to her pet distance of 2400 metres in the A$1.5 million BMW with three starts under her belt this campaign, including Group One fourths to the exciting Contributer in the Chipping Norton Stakes (1600m) and last Saturday’s Ranvet Stakes (2000m). She also chased Contributer home when fifth fresh-up in the Gr. 2 Apollo Stakes (1400m) at Randwick.
“I honestly believe she is at the top of her game,” said James (pictured) from his Sydney base. “In Melbourne last spring she was 100 per cent, leaping and wheeling off the track after working and she did that again this week.”
Twelve months ago Silent Achiever had won the Ranvet Stakes and went on to complete a memorable Sydney double and James believes that is the only difference going into Saturday’s race.
“I probably had a bit more wind in my sails last year as she had won going into this race as there’s nothing like a win to give you confidence, but I’m every bit as happy,” he said. “I can’t fault her.”
James is looking forward to Silent Achiever getting her chance over 2400 and believes she could have finished closer to Contributer in the Ranvet Stakes had rider Kerrin McEvoy pressed forward earlier.
“I’m not saying it was a bad ride at all in the Ranvet, but if it was a different ride she might have finished closer,” said James. “He let it turn into a sprint home. He said he didn’t want to be carting the field up to the leader, but she’s a mile and a half horse and if he’d made it more a staying test I believe she could have run second.”
Saturday’s field is star-studded with the Japanese visitor To The World currently the favourite over English import Hartnell, the mount of James McDonald. Silent Achiever is the fifth favourite.
“It’s a great field,” said James. “They’re all there and there’s a lot of talk about the Japanese horse.”
To The World was a last-start second in the Gr. 1 Arima Kinen (Grand Prix) over 2500 metres in Japan last December and that field included 10 individual Group One winners and was the highest-rating race anywhere in the world last year.
While James will obviously be focused on Silent Achiever on Saturday he will also be keeping close tabs on his stable’s runners in New Zealand, including The Tidy Express and Miss Foxwood at Awapuni. The Tidy Express will contest the Gr. 2 Ezibuy Awapuni Gold Cup and Miss Foxwood will run in the Listed Fairdale/Goodwood Studs Flying Handicap.
“The Tidy Express is a real chance, especially at the weights, and though Miss Foxwood has been thrown in the deep end she is racing well,” said James.
The Tidy Express was an unlucky second to King Krovanh (an opponent again on Saturday) at Ellerslie last start, while Miss Foxwood has registered two wins and three placings from her last five starts.
Meanwhile, the James stable won with debutante Visible at Avondale yesterday. A three-year-old daughter of Mastercraftsman, Visible raced away to score by two and a half lengths over 1400 metres.
“She’s a late-maturing type and she won well,” said James. “I like her.”
- Cambridge JC